LAKEWOOD - Children and their families enjoyed a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon on the lake at the third annual Kids' Day in Lakewood.
Businesses all along Chautauqua Avenue threw open their doors to welcome kids in a celebration of the little ones. Mindy Sandberg, event organizer and owner of Mindy's place, was inspired to start Kids' Day by other family-appreciation holidays.
"There's Grandparents' Day and there's Parents' Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day," she said. "And we all have a lot of kids up and down this street. We have a lot of friends that do things for kids so we just thought we'd pull them all together for a day."
Emma Lewis, 3, draws a masterpiece in chalk during the third annual Kids’ Day on Chautauqua Avenue in Lakewood on Saturday.
P-J photos by Nicholena Moon
Upon arrival, kids received a tote bag containing a map of the attractions and some sidewalk chalk. Throughout the day, children were encouraged to use the chalk to create masterpieces on the sidewalks up and down Chautauqua Avenue. At the end of the event, the sidewalks were judged and prizes given away. Parents were happy to note that the prizes were not just more fluffy stuffed animals, but useful items to help prepare for school.
"We're giving away lots of prizes, and they're all geared toward back-to-school supplies," said Sandberg.
Kids ate free at restaurants on the lakefront street. After lunch, they could watch a miniature horse show, get their faces painted, or watch "Harvey the Balloon Guy" and "Jingles" the clown make balloon animals. Additionally, families could stop by the local businesses, who each sponsored an activity.
"Pearson's Stained Glass is doing a really cute stained-glass window with the kids, Amber does a scrapbook page and the apothecary has little jars set up where they can practice on their counting before they go back to school," said Sandberg.
Last year, Kids' Day attracted 114 children. Sandberg expected the event to be equally popular this year.
"It gets better every year," she said.